International edition
June 14, 2021

Reports UK newspaper The Times

Beijing set to crack down on Macau junkets

(Macau).- The central government is set to crack down on Macau’s junket operators, The Times reports. The London-based newspaper quotes unidentified law enforcement sources as saying that the move will kick in after the Lunar New Year period, later this month. The sources added that the operation will involve police operations in more than six big mainland cities.

T

he sources added that the operation will involve police operations in more than six big mainland cities, as part of the anti-corruption campaign led by Xi Jinping, the country’s president-in-waiting.

“The squeeze has already started on a small scale, but the operators themselves believe that something bigger is coming within the next few weeks,” The Times quotes an unidentified Macau gaming industry source as saying.

Junket operators bring high rollers from the mainland to Macau, providing them with credit to gamble. The VIP segment accounts for almost 70 percent of Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue.

This latest news goes against what has been said by officials of the central government liaison office in Macau. In December, Bai Zhijian, director of the liaison office, said that anti-corruption measures in the mainland should not be regarded as measures to control the casino industry in Macau.

“Measures against corruption and casinos are not the same matter,” Bai Zhijian said at the time. “Every place across the globe is talking about anti-corruption and there are casinos everywhere. These are two different matters,” he added.

Meanwhile, investment analysts at Jefferies Group said in a note to investors that the signs coming from the mainland economy are still far from hinting a VIP gaming rebound in Macau. The firm believes Macau’s gross gaming revenue will grow by 8 percent this year, which would be slower than the 13.5 percent recorded last year, sister publication Business Daily reports.

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